Category Archives: Share Your Faith

Focused – Daily Post – 09/26/17

focusedWhat are you focused on today? For the past six or so work hours I was focused on what we call an EIR or emergency fix of a work issue. Because of the nature of the process it was important to be focused only on that particular item even when I had other important items I could have tapped along down the road at the same time. In our day of multitasking we think we can just do any number of things and do them well and maybe in some cases we can, but not in all.

In our Christian walk we have to stay vigilant in our focus or we are open to the possibility of temptation which can derail our witness. We must also keep in mind what the Holy Bible tells us about the way we should deal with temptation.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Cor 10:13

The bible tells us we WILL be tempted. That much is 100% clear. But, it also tells us we can overcome this temptation, if we stay focused. God will provide us with an escape. God will not tempt us past what we are able to withstand, even if we think He is.

A long time ago my Christian mentor, who is long since enjoying the fruits of Heaven, taught me about the J.O.Y. Principle: Jesus is first, others are second and you serve Yourself last. I had to develop my focus on this principle over time, but now I feel I have it in place. It is really not so hard, you just have to be willing to sacrifice for the better of others.

This is my idea for focused, I plan to bounce around to read others.

 

Daily Post Challenge – Focused

 

 

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Glorious (Appearing) – Daily Post – 09/18/17

 

 

Promises can be a great thing, especially if made by someone in whom you have a deep amount of trust. Someone perhaps like the Creator of all, who just happens to also be our personal Saviour. He made a promise to each of us long ago that He would return to earth one day. That is referred to as the Glorious Appearing.

Why will it be glorious? Because when Jesus returns for the Second Coming it will be to redeem all of those who have chosen Him as their personal Savior. Those still breathing and those whose life ended previously. He will return with a trumpet sounding and riding on a cloud. He will defeat Satan and establish His kingdom on earth for 1,000 years.

That kind of promise is one you can internalize and feel good about forever, which is exactly how long you will spend with our Creator in Heaven.

 

 

Daily Post Challenge – Glorious

 

 

Thorny – Daily Post – 09/14/17

 

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I love the days when my mind can translate a Daily Post prompt into something I can use on my faith blog. I just think in these days of so much destruction by nature and discord in our lives we need a word from God. No matter your trouble God has written an answer for you within the covers of his love letter, the Holy Bible.

So what about thorny, what has this triggered in the treacherous confines of my noodle? The Crown of Thorns, of course. The instrument of mocking the mighty Roman Empire chose to humiliate the one man who could give them refuge from a death much worse than the one He knew was coming, which is separation from our heavenly Father. The Romans, in their ostentatious pride, thought they were inflicting their authority in even another way with this simple instrument.

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I had the blessing of seeing the Passion of the Christ, the feature motion picture that tells the story of Jesus’ last days on earth. While I had learned about the Crown of thorns prior to that, seeing it dramatized as it was really brought home the reality of what agony that surely brought to Christ in His human form. What an instrument of torture this would be.

When we, as Christians, consider the kind of experience Jesus, the single Son of God, knowingly submitted to for our benefit we should be incredibly moved. Since he was fully God and fully man, he knew exactly what would happen long before the Romans came up with their brilliant plan. At any time he could have summoned untold Legions of Angels to his defense, but he did not. He wanted us to see just how much He loves us.

I’m not sure any of us fully recognize just how deep the love Christ smothers upon us can be. We are totally loved just as we are. He sacrificed himself over 2,000 years ago for people not even thought of within earthly minds. Do you have any thought of what will happen two millenniums from today? I heard it described by our pastor in this way: You will never be loved more or less by Jesus than you are at this moment. Everyone craves love, so if you have not accepted Christ’s offer to make your life radically different maybe you should let Him show you His way.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – Thorny

 

 

Totality – How the Solar Eclipse Illustrates being a partial Christian

All across the united States hundreds of millions of people took a trip outside to witness one of nature’s more rare events, a solar eclipse. From Oregon to South Carolina a select few were treated to what is termed “totality” where the entire sun is occluded. While I wish I could have been in the number to witness this, I could not. Perhaps in 2024 when we have another I can do so.

But I want to use this event as an illustration of how you can claim to be a Christian, but be as disappointing as an “almost full eclipse”. For example, look at the pictures below. On the left is the “total solar eclipse. You can see the corona all around the sun where the moon has totally covered its bigger contemporary. But on the right you can see a 95% eclipse, an almost total. Do you notice the difference?

ECLIPSE

To be an effective witness you can not be an almost Christian, or mostly Christian. When you take on that heavy mantle of being a professing Christian in effect you also agree to represent the entire body of Christians living and those who have gone on to their eternal reward. Every word, every deed, every unguarded moment is a potential failing point.

Thankfully God has provided us with grace to cover those moments when our humanness overcomes our practice of Christianity. Christians will inadvertently and sometimes knowingly stumble. We are imperfect creatures with the kind of temptations and desires that can make maintaining the Christian “totality” challenging.

SO as you reflect on the solar eclipse think about how seeing only a partial eclipse can compare to trying to maintain your Christian walk. Do you find yourself lacking in this pursuit? What strategies do you employ to counter those moments.

The Kindness Challenge – Week 1 – Reflection

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Is there still kindness to find in this tired old world? There is as long as we are willing to extend it through our thoughts, words and actions. Kindness is not universal, or guaranteed, but it is easy enough to generate, we only have to open our mind and hearts to the possibility

That alone is a great reason to enlist in Niki’s 2017 Kindness Challenge. No matter how much kindness you think emanates from you and the way you live your life you can always squeeze out a little bit more. As I shared with Niki in an earlier comment I do not consider kindness the kinds of things we should do as a matter of politeness or appreciation. Kindness to me is about going another step or more, or taking the time to be deliberate toward another soul.

I admit I struggled with the Week 1 challenge. I don’t focus on myself very often. Not to say I am not kind to myself, I just don’t make it a conscious thing. But I see the wisdom in girding yourself up with a kindness focus so you are ready to give to others. So I took on Niki’s  Week 1 instructions and here I am with my first Reflections post.

As far as a mantra or affirmation I suppose I would think something like this “I am me, the person God made in a perfect form and He Loves me, so do I!” I do not struggle with accepting myself as much as I once did. I suppose that is as much maturity and deepening of my faith as anything else. I used to think my path in life was not ambitious enough. That was before I came to the realization that where I am is where God chose to place me.

I suppose the greatest kindness I have given to myself is to understand that truth. I no longer feel like a disappointment or that what I have done in my life does not measure up. We do ourselves and our children a disservice by setting out arbitrary milestones to meet to be considered successful. Each of us is unique and no pre-conceived benchmarks will fairly assess our lives.

Being the best “me” I can be is something I want, but not at the cost of failing to enjoy my days. My brother died unexpectedly at 29 with colo-rectal cancer. Since that moment 20+ years ago I have come to appreciate every day and certainly every birthday (see no regret for turning 50) as I know it is a gift.

This is my Week 1 reflection. I will be around to read others.

Temporary Home – Daily Post – 05/09/17

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Isn’t every home temporary? I have called many different places home over my five decade life. There was my growing up home, a place I rested my head for the most of twenty-seven years. A college dorm room for two and a half, an apartment for two semesters as a cooperative education student. A house when first married for 30 days, an apartment for two and a half years, a small home for six more and the current residence going on seventeen years.

But do you understand our home on earth is temporary? Our life will end at some point and our future home will not be temporary but forever. Many choose not to believe this and of course that is their right. I am in the camp that believes if you do not actively choose the better option you default to the one no one wants: An eternity of torment in hell.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.  John 14:2-3

In John 3:16 Jesus gives us the promise that whosoever believes on Him shall not perish but have eternal life. But where will this eternal life take place? Not on earth, because nothing here is forever. In fact one day there will be a new Heaven and earth.

Jesus is working in Heaven even now to make sure there is a place that will make even the finest of temporary mansions on earth look like a cardboard shanty town.  But the best part is that once we get to Heaven we will be so consumed with worship and praise we won’t even know what things compare to on the temporary planet we thought was our everything.

Don’t concentrate on the temporary here so much that you miss the eternal promise God grants to all. The eternal reward easily within your grasp is something you must not allow to escape you.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/temporary/

Before – The 2017 Kindness Challenge

I found Niki, from The Richness of a Simple Life, during this year’s 2017 A to Z Blogging Challenge. If you did not see any of her challenge posts you should click on her blog link and check it out. She has a great perspective and I am happy to connect with another strong Christian online.

Before we begin the seven week 2017 Kindness Challenge Niki has asked that we take some time to put together and intention post. What is that? It is kind of a plan for what we would like to accomplish in the Kindness Challenge. What will be the kindness you will seek to embody? How will you touch others or allow them to touch you?

I find myself in a weird mood as I approach this. I know everyone has a different perspective on kindness, but I want to share this thought. Kindness is not doing something you should do as a matter of politeness or being a positive part of society.

To say thank you is not kindness. To do something after you are instructed is not kindness, at least in my estimation. In order to register on the kindness scale I think your action must be beyond your normal habits.

The kind of example I might give is seeking out the manager of a retail store and telling them what a good job their staff does. Or what a good job they do about keeping their store clean and stocked. Take a buggy in for someone in a parking lot so they don’t have to roll it to the buggy return. You are going in anyway.

Recently there has been some opportunities to send birthday cards to members of my church. I have been selective in who I send to, choosing those who may not receive a card from anyone else. Everyone deserved to feel special on their birthday, so it is a small thing on my part.

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Looking at the seven weeks and themes I can give a better intention of what will be the focus.

  • Week 1 | Self-love
  • Week 2 | Self-compassion
  • Week 3 | Self-acceptance
  • Week 4 | Kindness role model
  • Week 5 | Choosing kindness
  • Week 6 | Kindness without expectation
  • Week 7 | Grateful for kindness

 

I may have trouble with week 1 because as a Christian I feel like self-love is something that can cause issues. This blog is called Living the J.O.Y. Principle, which espouses the idea of Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last. I find the more I focus on Jesus and doing for others the happier I am.

However, I do realize you must have balance in all things and eventually you will tap yourself out with no input to your own self-development. I suppose that may be a big reason I wanted to take part in this challenge. Plus a challenge with a large quantity of participants provides someone to hold you accountable. We could all use more of that can’t we?

2017 Before Posts